85 new fish species found
Kochi: Fisheries Scientists have confirmed the identifiation of 85 species of deep sea fishes new to Indian EEZ.
This discovery was made by a reasearch team under the leadership of Prof B Madhusoodana Kurup, Director, School of Industrial Fisheries of the Cochin University of Science and Technology and Fisheries Advisor to Kerala Government.
The members of the team comprised of M Harikrishnan, S Venu, Sharin, A V Deepu, Ginsen, Joseph and Diana, a university press release said here today.
The study was carried out as part of the project Stock assessment of deep sea fishes of Indian EEZ and central Indian Ocean funded by the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
The species were discovered from the collection made from the exploratory deep sea fishery cruises carried out in Sagar Sampada, a research ship owned by the Ministry of Earth sciences (GOI) in the depth zones 200-1100 m from Wadge bank in the south and Ratnagiri in the north along the south west coast of India during the past one decade. Fishing operations were carried out in 220 stations with high speed demersal fish and shrimp trawls.
The release said 152 deep sea fish species belonging to 123 genera and 70 families were identified from the study area among them `Mustelus manglorensis`, a triakid shark is new to science was discovered from 500 m depth off mangalore coast.
`Manglorensis`, is the 10th member under the genus `Mustelus` which can distinctly be diagnosed by the presence of strong tricuspidate teeth and frayed dorsal fin margins. 84 fish species were found as new to India EEZ, among them 15 are shark varieties.
The presence of vary unique varieties of sharks such as Baloon, Cat, Lantern and Gulper will definitely increase the biodiversity value of the country. Ten species of eels which
belong to conger cusk and snipe were also discovered from the study region, most of them inhabiting beyond 500 m.
Wile analysing the variation in deep sea fish biodiversity both spatially and bathymetrically in the study area it was found that the transect 11-13 Degree North (Calicut-Mangalore) was endowed with rich deep sea fish biodiverstiy which harboured 121 fish species, among them one species was discovered new to science while 63 species contributed in strengthening the fish bio divesity of the country.
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